A letter to my daughter
We found out we were pregnant with you in June. It was warm. I was with the kids in Utah, visiting our family. Dad was starting his new job in Ohio. And even though Dad and I felt overwhelmed by having so many kids to love, we loved you already and we knew you were being sent from God. So we were trusting God to help us.
We found out about your heart in September. It was warm. Dad stayed home with the kids to pack for our camping trip. The Spirit whispered to me about your heart, and while they were scanning it, I wondered. Dad and I were worried and overwhelmed. But we trusted God and prayed for understanding and peace.
The peace we sought came in pieces, gradually, as we came to an understanding of all we were learning from the doctors and from the Lord. I put it together a little at a time, always seeking more and being grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I knew you were just on the other side of the veil and you had already accepted whatever difficulties you would face in life, but I didn’t know how I would be a support for you as well as meeting the needs of your older siblings. It seemed like God was asking a lot of me—maybe more than I could handle. Eventually, I saw some ways God had guided our path.
When your oldest brother was born, he was six weeks early. We spent hours and weeks in the NICU, learning about monitors and baby eating. We worked with lactation specialists for hours.
With your sister I grew into motherhood as I learned to balance the needs of multiple children. I learned to focus on the most important things and to let some things go.
When your next brother was born, I felt the joy and peace of welcoming a baby. I learned so much about balancing our mental health. And our family became so much stronger.
When your third big brother was born, we went to the NICU again. And we felt we were in way over our heads. I learned how to run a home more efficiently, and how to be a mentor, to love deeply, and to focus on joy.
And as we await your arrival with a lot of unknowns about if you’ll be in the NICU and what modifications we may need to make to help you grow. I feel prepared. I feel like God has helped us be ready for this experience.
But most importantly, I am a stronger person than I was nine years ago. I am closer to God. I’ve learned to rely on the strength of the Savior in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. I have learned that prayer and the power it calls upon can literally carry a person, a family, a life. Our family has been carried by the Lord many times, even more so in recent years, as I’ve faced constant overwhelm–the inability to do everything God has asked of me, without relying on Him. And I am trusting God to carry us now. I’ve learned how to call upon His power in our lives and to do the next right thing without worrying about doing it all, because He is all.
The Other Side of the Veil
I envision you, on the other side of the veil, watching your body form in its earthly imperfection, I imagine you smiling, this is the life you chose. It may not be easy in some ways. But I know that God has guided you. As I contemplate that fact, I feel peace. This may not be the plan that I had in June, but this must be God’s plan.
And God’s plan is always good. This is where you are meant to be. Here on this earth, at this time, in this family. And I feel blessed to be your earthly mother. God has prepared me for this life. He has you preparing on the other side. And we will face it, together. All of us, trusting God and His plan for you.